The Moon Shines Down
by Margaret Wise Brown
Illustrated by Linda Bleck
Forgotten for decades in a dusty, tucked-away trunk, The Moon Shines Down brings to life once more the unmistakable voice of Margaret Wise Brown. This soon-to-be classic allows a whole new generation of children to discover, cherish, and enjoy the artistry of this beloved author.
Never before published, The Moon Shines Down on children all over the world from right next door to across the sea, from where “a Dutch boy dreams” and “cowbells ring” to “across the sea in the Far, Far East”, through the familiar prayer:
I see the Moon
And the Moon sees me.
God bless the Moon,
And God bless me.
Margaret Wise Brown (1910–1952) was a pioneer of children’s literature, choosing to write the stories that children wanted to hear—rather than those that grown-ups wanted to tell. She is best known for her now classic Good Night Moon and Runaway Bunny, which remain among the world’s best-selling children’s books.
Margaret was a prolific writer, and, at the peak of her career, she had over 100 books in print. Her untimely death left numerous manuscripts and ideas behind in various stages of completion. After a time, these were tucked away in a cedar trunk and largely forgotten. It is from this forgotten trunk that The Moon Shines Down was rescued.
Illustrator Linda Bleck began her artistic career as a child, drawing on rolls of old blueprint paper supplied by her architect father. Later, she helped her mother, a freelance illustrator for Hallmark, paint in the details of her intricate drawings. Linda’s work has appeared in The NewYorker, Time Magazine, and the Wall Street Journal. She is also the writer and illustrator of the “Pepper the Dog” series, which won the National Parenting Publication Award.
Linda and her family now live in southern Wisconsin . . . where the moon shines down on them, one and all.
The Story Behind the Lost Manuscript . . .
The Moon Shines Down
from MARGARET WISE BROWN,
the Author of Goodnight Moon
The Moon Shines Down is being published for the first time 56 years after the death of the beloved children’s author Margaret Wise Brown.
Amazingly, this unpublished manuscript lay incomplete and forgotten in a cedar trunk in a Vermont barn. When it was discovered, the onionskin paper had yellowed and the paperclips that held the pages together had rusted. Children’s book publisher, Laura Minchew, a longtime fan of Brown, took on the challenge to complete the work.
Based on the New England Sampler prayer, “God Bless the Moon and God Bless Me,” this soon-to-be bedtime classic is a prayer for God’s blessing on all the world’s children.
Completed by Thomas Nelson publisher Laura Minchew, this unfinished manuscript by the author of Goodnight Moon takes as its inspiration the nursery rhyme/child s prayer I See the Moon. The result lacks the clean simplicity of image and rhythm of Brown s best work. Unexceptionalverses describe how the moon shines on different countries and children ( I see the Moon and the Moon sees me,/ And the Moon sees the Dutch boy/ Far over the sea ) and how God blesses them all ( the little French children oui, oui, oui, oui! ). A couple of verses about Christmas and the Christ Child, meanwhile, don t fit the context of a world tour. Bleck s playful paintings are a literal bright spot, with nearly every scene featuring a yellow full moon amid a purple-blue nighttime sky. She casts a koala bear as the narrator (which creates some continuity problems when the text touches down in Australia, but is otherwise fun). Happy children and sometimes smiling animals cavort around iconic symbols of the visited countries windmills, Eiffel Tower, thatch roof cottage lending a peaceful mood to the proceedings. Ages 3 8.